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Periodically throughout the offseason, I'll be posting snapshots of how next years team is shaping up. This will include the likely 25-man roster if the season started today, and discussion of payroll, recent changes(trades, free agent signings), and specific positions of weakness or potential change.


So, on this the first day of the Blue Jay 2004 offseason, the following table shows where they currently sit for 2005. That is, the best roster Toronto can field if they do nothing this off-season. The table does not include potential free agents (but does include players who are otherwise arbitration-eligible). 2005 salaries are my own estimates except in the cases of guaranteed contracts, which are indicated by bold type.

Pos Player T/B 2004$ 2005$
SP1 Roy Halladay R 6.000 10.500
SP2 Ted Lilly L 1.900 3.100
SP3 Miguel Batista R 3.600 4.750
SP4 David Bush R .300 .310
SP5 Josh Towers R .340 .400
 
Closer Justin Speier R 1.600 2.000
Setup Jason Frasor R .300 .315
Mid Kerry Ligtenberg R 2.000 2.500
Mid Vinny Chulk R .300 .310
Long Brandon League R .300 .300
Swing Justin Miller R .300 .320
LOOGY Gustavo Chacin L .300 .300
 
C Guillermo Quiroz R .300 .300
1B Eric Crozier L .300 .300
2B Orlando Hudson S .322 .400
SS Russ Adams L .300 .300
3B Eric Hinske L .800 3.000
LF Gabe Gross L .300 .305
CF Vernon Wells R .700 2.900
RF Alexis Rios R .300 .320
DH Frank Catalanotto L 2.300 2.700
 
OF Reed Johnson R .318 .340
UT Frank Menechino R .400 .750
UT Chris Woodward R .775 .800
C Kevin Cash R .302 .310
Total Payroll 37.765


While thatís a team that would have trouble staying afloat in the AL Central, let alone the AL East, take heart in the ďTotal payrollĒ line: to the best of our knowledge the 2005 budget is between 50 and 53 million, or 12 to 15 million above and beyond what is projected above. What positions should be addressed with that spare change? Hereís my list:

1) First Baseman
2) Relief Pitching (2 arms required)
3) DH / Left fielder
4) Catcher
5) Backup Shortstop
6) Starting pitcher

As you may have heard, a certain slugger named Carlos Delgado, otherwise known as The Greatest Blue Jay Of Them All, is eligible for free agency. While the scenario involving Delgado remaining in Toronto has not been completely ruled out, the chances of it are slim. Real slim. Alex Rios slim.

So how does the team go about addressing these needs? Well, they always told us in school to start an exam with the easiest questions, so letís do just that.

Catcher

Guillermo Quiroz is the future of catching in Toronto, a Grade-A prospect who figures to backstop this team to its next championship. But his time is not now. While he showed flashes of his potential as a September call-up, GQ could really use some more Triple-A Seasoning. It seems eminently sensible to re-sign potential free agent Gregg Zaun, one of the few bright spots of the 2004 season and a solid citizen even if he does drive a Trans Am. Zaun can be the heavy end of a platoon with Quiroz, Kevin Cash, or a bargin-bin free agent for the first half of 2005, then make way for The Future in the second half. Figure Triple-G at 1 million dollars and his evil twin close to the minimum.

Backup Shortstop

Another ray of hope in a dismal season was the impressive performance of Russ Adams in the final month. Tiny sample size or no, Russ silenced most of his doubters by batting .306/.359/.528 in 72 at-bats, and will head to Dunedin next spring penciled in as the starting shortstop. His ideal backup is a lefty-masher who plays solid defence. The incumbent Chris Gomez is eligible for free agency. Thor played lefties to the tune of .296/.395/.378 in 96 AB this year and drew neither raves nor reproof for his D, but over his career the melody has been a less harmonious .265/.345/.363. With no obvious upgrades available on the market, re-signing Gomez is a reasonable option. Regardless, this roster spot shouldnít cost more than $1 million.

Now that Iíve addressed the two easiest points, Iím going to hedge on the larger questions. Namely, 2 bats, 2 relievers, and a starting pitcher. I see these as inter-related: with approximately $14 million to spend, they arenít all going to be filled by superstars. Quick considerations:

1st base: There really isnít anyone currently in the system who can be written in here and expected to perform at an above-average level, let alone a Carlos Delgado level. This spot will require a good chunk of the available spending cash.

DH / Left field: Iím very much in favour of Frank Catalanotto as the primary DH in the interest of preserving his health, and I would let Eric Crozier and Gabe Gross duel it out for the right to platoon with Reed Johnson in left. This means the requirement is simply a lefty mashing DH, and this should not cost much.

Starting Pitcher: I donít buy Miguel Batista as closer as I feel he can be far more valuable to the team as a starter. But, while the 5th starter options are numerous (Josh Towers, Gus Chacin, Justin Miller, Sean Douglass), Iím in favour of looking for an upgrade here. Roy Halladay figures to contribute much much more in 2005 than he did in 2004, but Ted Lilly is a candidate to regress from a career season, Miguel Batista is somewhat of a wild card, and Dave Bush is a young pitcher. Young pitchers will break your heart. Believe it. Signing a capable starter in the $3M range will ease the pressure on the rest of the staff, both starters and relievers. Further, the better this team can pitch the ball, the less it will miss Delgadoís bat.

Relievers: The task here is obvious: bring in a reliable closer and a legitimate LOOGY. The path is not so obvious, as both are scarce (and generally overpriced) commodities. I still believe in-house option Justin Speier can handle the closing duties, and Brandon Leagueís potential is enormous. While Iíve listed Gustavo Chacin as the only lefty reliever in the table above, his value is higher as a starter and his stats this year indicate heís no LOOGY. As distasteful as it may sound given the bullpen failures of the past two years, J.P. may have to once again hunt in the bargain bin for a lefty neutralizer.

Subject to availability of appropriate players, here's how I would divvy up the available funds amongst the five roster spots to be filled:

$1M: Lefty-mashing DH who can back up at 1st
$6M: 1st baseman
$3M: Starting pitcher
$4M: Two relievers

Besides looking to sign free agents, I would actively shop Josh Towers, and I would not be shy about trading Gus Chacin if his value is high based on his impressive season. If thereís a team out there interested in Kerry Ligtenberg, Iíd gift-wrap him in a C-prospect and ship him out UPS Red.

The Future As Of Now: Your 2005 Toronto Blue Jays | 137 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Jim Acker - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#28284) #
Great analysis...Given the funding situation, I'd still have batista start the year as the closer and hope League developes like K-Rod...not just in eyewear selection I mean.

As for the rest of team, the only solution to put this team on the right foot is to up the payroll to $60M. It's the right thing for this club to do.

We've been patient, and we will remain to be, but it's time to show the fans something to get excited about.
Named For Hank - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#28285) #
Does Zaun really drive a Trans Am?
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#28286) #
RE: Signing two relievers.

This team has had an ability to find more than 3 or 4 relievers who can do the job. Why do they feel the need to keep having 7 or even 8 guys in the bullpen? To me there seems to be a trade-off between quantity and quality. I'll take quality.
_Caino - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#28287) #
"This means the requirement is simply a lefty mashing DH, and this should not cost much."

- A lefty mashing DH? Like a Josh Phelps?
_One of the Ryan - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#28288) #
I think this off-season will see some surprises. I'll go out on a limb and say that I expext O-dog to be gone by next year, replaced at second by Russ Adams, who is replaced at short by Omar Vizquel. As for first base, I have no idea; someone mentioned Jay Gibbons in another thread, and I can see this being a good possibility. Especially since J.P. has mentioned numerous times that he will be targeting some non-tenders.
_Caino - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#28289) #
I agree with Moffat. Two relievers seems to be a bit much. Apart form the glaring need for a left handed arm, I think bringing in a righty would be rather pointless.

Of course I'm presumming Batista can do the job, and League will be with the club very soon.


Maybe it's on account of drinking too much coffee on an empty stomach, but seeing that figure beside Hisnke's name makes me physically sick.
That guy is about as useful to the Blue Jays as a can of gas is to a FireFighter.
Does anybody believe he can rebound to have a similar season to his rookie year?... Anyone?

All the same, good work JG.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#28290) #
I'll go out on a limb

You succeed by suggesting Omar Vizquel. :)
_Caino - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#28291) #
Age: 27
Height: 6-0
Weight: 197 lbs.
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Pos: RF

Born: March 2, 1977, Rochester, MI, United States
Experience: 4 years
2004 Salary: $3,000,000


2003 Bal 160 625 80 173 39 2 23 100 49 89 0 1 .277 .330 .456 .786
2004 Bal 96 343 36 84 14 1 10 46 29 64 1 1 .245 .303 .379 .682
_Caino - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#28292) #
Vizquel-

YEAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
2004 148 567 82 165 28 3 7 59 57 62 19 6 .291 .353 .388 .741

Turns 38 in April.
Switch hitter
Made 6.25 last year.
_Ducey - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#28293) #
I expect Woody to be let go. What is the process for that? Release outright?

I would like to see Chacin and League along with Rosario as starters in AAA to start 2005. While the team has needs, I would not want to rush these guys. League's highest value is as a starter and while he could evolve on the ML roster, this would just mean he would hit his peak playing for the Yankees.

The Jays also may go after a Rule 5 guy which would need one of the above spots.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#28294) #
I expect Woody to be let go. What is the process for that? Release outright?

Even easier. Woodward is arbitration eligible, so all the Jays would have to do is not offer him arbitration, which would make him a free-agent.
_Jonny German - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#28295) #
Does Zaun really drive a Trans Am?

Look at the hair. Listen to the music. There can be no doubt.

Moffatt, I'm not sure what you're saying. Relievers who did the job this year were: Speier. Frasor. That's about it. This team needs more relief pitching. Brandon League may or may not be best served being part of the solution. $4M should be enough for 2 quality relievers.

Of course, any discussion of the bullpen hinges on whether or not you see Batista in it, and how effective you expect him to be there.

A lefty mashing DH? Like a Josh Phelps?

Hehe... I knew there was a reason I added the "who can back up at 1st".
_Caino - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#28296) #
Hey Moffatt, What if they wanted to outright release Hinske (for example)? Would they be on the hook for his entire contract? Or how does that work?
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#28297) #
Moffatt, I'm not sure what you're saying. Relievers who did the job this year were: Speier. Frasor. That's about it. This team needs more relief pitching.

Well, Ligtenberg isn't going anywhere, so that's 3 guys. Plus there is Batista, so that's 4.

What I'm saying is, if the Jays have so few decent relievers, why have such a big bullpen? It's going to be a heck of a lot to find one more reliever than it is 3 or 4.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#28298) #
Hey Moffatt, What if they wanted to outright release Hinske (for example)? Would they be on the hook for his entire contract?

Contracts in MLB are guaranteed. Hinske isn't going to get released.
_Jim Acker - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#28299) #
One other interesting note for the 2005 Jays. Lee Mazzili is reported as saying that he'd love to have Les Expos des Washington play in the AL East to create a great rivalry with the Os. Who wouldn't love the Jays to move the NL East?

Just a thought
_Jonny German - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#28300) #
What I'm saying is, if the Jays have so few decent relievers, why have such a big bullpen?

I almost see this exactly opposite. If you've got good relievers, you run them out there day after day in all situations and they get the job done. If you've got lousy relievers, you need to control their workloads and matchups very carefully - easier to do if you've got more cards in your hand.

At any rate, I agree with the notion of the 6-man pen and therefore 5-man bench. In my opinion, the arms aren't there at this point to make that work, and Blue Jay management hasn't shown an inclination this way as of yet.
_Jordan - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#28301) #
Judging from the holes to be filled and the money available, it seems pretty clear to me that the Jays are going to have to get solid production for minimal cost in some areas, in order to maximize the amount of money they can spend in others. For example, Russ Adams' September performance likely means he'll be the regular shortstop in '05, saving the Jays the millions of dollars they'd otherwise need to spend on an Orlando Cabrera. Adams will be far from an MVP candidate next year, but he'll produce much better than his league-minimum salary would normally indicate.

Accordingly, if the Jays could get solid production at, for example, 1B for the league minimum, they could take that money and make a run at a premier starter. To cite an example, here's a potential candidate to play 1B next year for $300,000. He's blocked by veterans on his current team, and might be acquirable for the price of a high-profile starting prospect, maybe a Chacin. Bonus points if you can recognize him from his stats profile.

2002 Florida State League, 23 years old
361 AB, .321/.422/.562, 25 2B, 1 3B, 20 HR, 57 BB, 95 K
2003 Southern League, 24
443 AB, .269/.367/.458, 31 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR, 57 BB, 118 K
2004, Pacific Coast League, 25
386 AB, .316/.389/.630, 26 2B, 1 3B, 31 HR, 41 BB, 97 K

I'm not recommending his acquisition, necessarily, just pointing out that there are ways to obtain good talent without going the veteran FA route.
_Paul D - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#28302) #
I have no idea who it is, but I think the Jays should look at Howard in Philly. He's blocked by Thome, who's not going anywhere.
_Spicol - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#28303) #
Does Zaun really drive a Trans Am?

If he does, then clearly he needs a nickname like Zaunsy or the more obvious, zOzzy.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#28304) #
If you've got lousy relievers, you need to control their workloads and matchups very carefully - easier to do if you've got more cards in your hand.

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree.

If you relievers aren't that good, you can't jerk them around like that. They'll implode. It's more important to have them on a set schedule.

That's why every single major league reliever who has come to the Jays has been worse than the team he left for the last 3 years. Because the Jays are constantly jerking guys into and out of roles and they can't get in any kind of consistent groove.
_Ducey - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#28305) #
Jordan, I believe your guy is Jason Dubois. Didn't we have him as a Rule 5?
Mike Green - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#28306) #
I'm in favour of the small pen of five or maybe six.

Managing seven relievers requires too much flipping, and this does not lead to getting the most out of them. I have no problem with a 5 man pen and no lefties, if a reasonable one cannot be found in the market.
_Smack - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#28307) #
Jason Dubois played well for the Cubs too, but the PCL is really generous towards stats.

Remember Kevin Witt?

Kevin Witt Memphis 1B 131 118 .306/.353/.600 36 HR 107 RBI 28/112 bb/k
Gerry - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#28308) #
Dan Johnson from Oakland is another possibility but if JP thinks he has too many rokkies among his current team, then it is unlikely that he would trade for a rookie.

I would say that we need only one reliever, preferably a LOOGY, although JP has sais they are hard to find. So my budget would be spent as follows:

LOOGY $1 mil
Starter $3-4 mil
Big Bopper (1B or DH) $5 mil
RHB, maybe a platoon guy: $1 mil

The big bucks go to a starter and a big masher.
_Scott Levy - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#28309) #
Two players that I hope the Jays look into...could be cheap and productive.

Glendon Rusch, LHP - FA
129.2 IP, 3.47 ERA, 127 H, 33 BB, 90 K

Carlos Pena, 1B - Nontender or trade
.241-.338-.472, 27 HR, 82 RBI, 70 BB
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#28310) #
Managing seven relievers requires too much flipping, and this does not lead to getting the most out of them. I have no problem with a 5 man pen and no lefties, if a reasonable one cannot be found in the market.

Agreed. I really like this idea.

When every major league reliever you sign as a free agent turns into a pumpkin, it doesn't mean that you're acquiring the wrong guys. It may be that you're using them wrong.
_Jordan - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#28311) #
Yup, it's Dubois, former Rule 5er. The PCL is indeed a hitter's league (though not as much as it used to be), but Dubois' numbers still translated to a healthy .270 major-league equivalent average. Ryan Howard, who also looks interesting, posted a .266 mark. By way of comparison, Calvin Pickering's monster season (.315/.451/.712, 35 HR in 299 AB) produced a .293 Maj_EqA. And to compare Jays' prospects: Gabe Gross posted a .240 Maj_EqA in Syracuse. (Kevin Witt's BB/K rate would have made me instantly doubtful of his future.)

Anyway, as I say, I'm not necessarily recommending his acquisition, though he's a better power prospect than anyone the Jays have in their system. Just saying that there are options out there.
_Kieran - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#28312) #
Ernie Whitt is the new bench coach for John Gibbons. No first base coach appointed yet.

Molitor appears to be out of a job in Seattle. Do you think he'd entertain thoughts of coaching in Toronto? Although with bench and batting spoken for, there may not be a spot.
_Ducey - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#28313) #
In acquiring the starter/ bats discussed above I hope the Jays think hard about younger guys. The Jays have to decide whether they want to go to the total rebuild or not.

Seeing as we anticipate RF, LF, Catcher, SS, & 2B all being manned by rookies/ young players at some point next year, the only vetrans will be Cat, Zaun?, Wells, & Hinske. Rather than getting a Raffi Palmeiro in for a year or two, I would like them to take a shot with maybe two young sluggers from AAA somewhere. Between them and Crozier you might get one regular and maybe half a platoon. They would mature at the same rate as most of your young players.

If the projection really is to compete in 2006, then the lack of sluggers in AA and AAA is going to make that more difficult to do with home grown cheap players. You will tie up a lot of salary at 1B and DH. Instead, it would be nice to have the flexibility to acquire a superstar at a position requiring defence (maybe 3B) to put you into contention.
_Marc - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#28314) #
Carlos Pena will be a tough guy to get from Detroit... by reading the Detroit papers it seems as though the Tiger organization really likes him (again)... 27 homers are not going to get non-tendered by a team looking for offence.
_Jonny German - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#28315) #
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree.

Okay, I'm agreeable.

5 man pen, huh? Do you (Mike and Mike) feel that the Jays already have five arms on hand that can do this effectively? I'm guessing the best they could run out there for 2005 would be Batista, Speier, League, Frasor, Ligtenberg. Does that get the job done? Are you content with Towers as the 5th starter, which becomes likely if Batista is not in the rotation?
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#28316) #
I'm guessing the best they could run out there for 2005 would be Batista, Speier, League, Frasor, Ligtenberg. Does that get the job done? Are you content with Towers as the 5th starter, which becomes likely if Batista is not in the rotation?

There's two ways of going about it:

1. Leave Batista in the bullpen. Have those five guys. Now you don't need any more bullpen pitchers, you can spend the money to get 2 starters. Either one awesome one and one okay guy or 2 good pitchers.

2. This one I like much better. Put Batista back in the rotation. Get another decent set-up man/closer type. I'd suggest a lefty though I doubt there's much available.

I think 1 would do the job just as well as whatever they run out there next year. The advantage is that it frees up two bench spots for a pinch-hitter or a Ken Phelps All-Star or two like Cal Pickering, plus frees up more money for the rotation.

I like 2 better because I'm not at all sold on Batista as a reliever, unless you're going to use him as a long guy/swing man like he was used in Arizona.
_Rich - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#28317) #
Batista, Speier, League, Frasor, Ligtenberg. Does that get the job done?

Eeesh, methinks not. Let's not forget that the Jays finished at the absolute bottom of the AL in bullpen ERA. Speier and Frasor both had 4 decent months and 2 horrible months. Batista may be better off in the rotation, and it remains to be seen if he can be an effective closer over the long haul. Lightenberg may or may not be healthy again and has been killed by lefties 2 years in a row.

Even if all 5 guys pitch well next year, I still don't think they'd be even in the top half of the AL's bullpens.

On another note, where is the power going to come from on offense? No matter what combination of Cat, Reed, and Gross are in left / DH, there's not much power there, nor at third or in right field. I think another woeful offensive year looms unless JP can find some power outside the organization.
Mike Green - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#28318) #
Mikes stick together; I agree with the overall plan. I have a couple of other thoughts. I'd be content if the organization felt that Chacin was ready for a long-man job in the bullpen in 05.

If pitchers are going to be signed in the free-agent market or otherwise acquired, let it be for one year unless the price is right. Between all of the prospects, Banks, Rosario, McGowan, Vermilyea, Marcum (as well as League and Chacin), it's probably better if the team is not overcommitted financially to pitchers in 2006.
_R Billie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#28319) #
I think the Jays will bid seriously on Palmeiro and maybe try for a non-tender or trade to fill the second bat. I think they will like Palmeiro for one big reason: more walks than strikeouts in each of the last six seasons. This year 86 walks and just 60 strikeouts in 546 at bats. His isolated power went way down his first year out of Texas but it's hard to say if that's age related. If they do get him I think he would be a fine signing. This team needs a veteran leader who has plenty of experience and can produce on the field and Palmeiro still fills both of those needs. I'm not sure if his power will rebound because he's 40 years old now but if it does then he's not much of a step down from Carlos. He's Catalanatto with less average and more power.

Ryan Howard while available also strikes out a lot. Unless it was a real stud prospect like Casey Kotchman, Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzalez, or James Loney, I wouldn't rely too heavily on a very young bat. I wouldn't mind taking a flyer on Nick Johnson if the Washington Spos make him available. And you have to at least feel out the prices of guys coming off down years like Ordonez, Glaus, Sexson, etc.

As far as starting pitcher is concerned, it's not going to be easy to get someone solid at $3 million. If you can't get a solid middle guy then I'd rather spend a million on a back guy and wait for Chacin to be ready. Pour that extra money into the offensive slots or the pen.

Outside of a lefty or two, I'm not sure there are many righties out there the Jays could benefit from unless they landed a Wickman or someone like that. And those types of guys will tend to be pricey. If the Jays were going to spend $4 million between two relievers I would rather they just get one really good reliever or use the extra money on starting or a bat. I think a recovered Ligtenberg, Speier, Frasor, and Chulk should give them the required depth behind Batista in the pen.
_R Billie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#28320) #
I think also that the Jays have to avoid the trap of spreading all that money out evenly between multiple slots. I'd much rather take a risk on a couple of potentially impact players and fill the rest of the spots with youth and affordable veterans. Mediocore can potentially be replaced by a young player or cheap veteran. Impact talent probably can't.
_Jonny German - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#28321) #
So if the Jays sign Palmeiro does that mean Woody stays?
_MatO - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#28322) #
I like the idea of having only 5 relievers but there is no chance of it happening. You'd have to return to a mid-80's and prior pitching philosophy in order to make it happen. You'd have to ignore starter pitch counts (no more 110 max) and let them work their own way out of trouble in the 6th and 7th innings so that starters would eat up more innings (Lilly didn't even make 200 IP despite pitching pretty well - no worse than a Clancy in the 80's but Jim would have pitched 250 innings). Closers would have to work multiple innings (see Henke mid to late 80's) and the LOOGY would have to be eliminated.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#28323) #
So if the Jays sign Palmeiro does that mean Woody stays?

Why would Woody stay? Adams and Gomez should be plenty.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#28324) #
Closers would have to work multiple innings (see Henke mid to late 80's) and the LOOGY would have to be eliminated.

Yes and yes. Since the Jays don't have a LOOGY and may not get one, they're already half way there. Plus they've had their closers work more than one inning this year.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#28325) #
For an example of what I'm talking about, see the early 90's Expos, who had some of the best bullpens ever.
_Four Seamer - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#28326) #
So if the Jays sign Palmeiro does that mean Woody stays?

LOL. I think it means not only does Woody stay, there'll be a woody at every position.
_MatO - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#28327) #
What would also help is an adherence to a strict rotation for your top four guys going every fifth day regardless of days off and the fifth starter going to the bullpen when his turn is missed. So you have a 4 1/2 man starting rotation and a 5 1/2 man relief corps.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#28328) #
LOL. I think it means not only does Woody stay, there'll be a woody at every position.

ROFL. I didn't get that the first time. Boy am I dense. :)
_Grand Funk Rail - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#28329) #
With the apathy of the populous at an all time low here in the Big Smoke, I think Ol' Teddy Rog would be shooting himself in the foot if he didn't raise the payroll for '05.
By my estimate, the Jays have less than 18 months before they completely slide out of the consciousness of the public, al la les Expos.
_Grand Funk Rail - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#28330) #
Oh, and for what it's worth concerning Woodward, I told you so.
_Prisoner of Ham - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#28331) #
I'm glad people are starting to take to my suggestion that JP is going to go after Palmeiro. He clearly sees the need for a veteran's firm resolve.
Pistol - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#28332) #
ROFL. I didn't get that the first time. Boy am I dense. :)

I have to say, I got a good chuckle out of reading through the posts wondering how many it would take to get the joke.
_BCMike - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#28333) #
Yes and yes. Since the Jays don't have a LOOGY and may not get one, they're already half way there. Plus they've had their closers work more than one inning this year.

And what happens when one of the relievers gets hurt? You're down to 4 guys and a callup... the bullpen could get thin really fast.

I just don't see how the Jays could get by with only 10 pitchers on the roster. I also don't see the benefit in having so many players on the bench. We have already seen Menechino pitch this year, we don't need to see it next year.
Pistol - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#28334) #
I think I'm against signing Palmeiro just so I don't have to put up with viagra related jokes.
_Jacko - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#28335) #

I think the Jays will bid seriously on Palmeiro and maybe try for a non-tender or trade to fill the second bat. I think they will like Palmeiro for one big reason: more walks than strikeouts in each of the last six seasons. This year 86 walks and just 60 strikeouts in 546 at bats. His isolated power went way down his first year out of Texas but it's hard to say if that's age related. If they do get him I think he would be a fine signing. This team needs a veteran leader who has plenty of experience and can produce on the field and Palmeiro still fills both of those needs. I'm not sure if his power will rebound because he's 40 years old now but if it does then he's not much of a step down from Carlos. He's Catalanatto with less average and more power.

RBillie, I think you're really out to lunch here.

Palmeiro is a pretty big step down from Carlos. Carlos, even with all of his health problems this year, is one year removed from a 302/426/593 season. There's no reason not to expect another 275/400/550 year out of him. And based on his very strong finish to 2004, he's probably got a few 300/400/600 seasons left in the tank as well. He's also only 32.

Meanwhile, Palmeiro (at 40) has been in decline for several years. While his walk rates have been fairly stable, his BA has dropped precipitously in the last few years, which has in turn cut his OBP by around 10%. A new (and troubling) development this year was his drop in power. He slugged below .500 for the first time since 1997.

I don't see any point in signing an aging veteran like Palmeiro to (ostensibly) replace Delgado.
Pistol - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#28336) #
We have already seen Menechino pitch this year, we don't need to see it next year.

Who led the team in ERA this year?
.
.
.
.
.
.
(minimum 1 inning)
_Mylegacy - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#28337) #
Now the fun of the off season starts!!

A few observations:

Bullpen: Sometime in 05 at least a few of the following will be able to contribute, Houston, League, Peterson, Rosario, Torres, Thorpe and Vermilyea. SO, don't go too crazy on bullpen spending this year.

2nd Base: Hudson is our ONLY trade chip. With either Menechino and or Gomez filling in immediately and Aaron Hill filling in later in 05 or early 06 at the latest. Flip Hudson for a "masher" or "closer" PREFERABLY a "closer."

Starting pitching: Halladay, Lily, Bush, Chacin and Batista as the 5th starter. Batista was OK early, died later. Let him have the extra time off as a 5th starter and he'll be OK.

By LATE 05 Banks and Ramirez will be knocking on the Starters door and in 06 a whole herd of little beasties will be trying to kick down the door!
_Pete Warren - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#28338) #
Hey whats up guys

Whoever we get, we need them to PRODUCE. If we're gonna win 95-100 (which is what its pretty kuch gonna take to make the playoffs) games sooner or later, we have to have a season where guys have career years. I have a feeling next year's Jays are going to have a whole different feeling to them. And not having Carlos Delgado will be 70% of it.

Rheal Cormier a Jay in 2005?...hmm
_Grand Funk Rail - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#28339) #
Rheal Cormier a Jay in 2005?...hmm

Nothing like overpaying for a guy based simply on where he was born.
_CaramonLS - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#28340) #
Ugg right now all I see is Short-term fixes at 1B & DH that are viable (not expensive) options.

Possible Signings:

Zaun: He said he wants to be back next year. Zuan/Quiroz is a combination I could live with.
Eric Karros: 1B/DH option, very good at hitting left handed pitching, good bench option.
Raffi Palmero: 1B/DH option, Very good at hitting Right handed Pitching. (not sold on Crozier for this position).

Now Johnny we effectively have 5 OFs now, in Gross, Rios, Wells, Johnson, and Cat, I think Gross isn't ready for the show, and should go back to AAA, but I also don't think Cat should be restricted to DH/1B role either.
_Jacko - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#28341) #

Eric Karros: 1B/DH option, very good at hitting left handed pitching, good bench option.
Raffi Palmero: 1B/DH option, Very good at hitting Right handed Pitching. (not sold on Crozier for this position).

Karros wasn't effective at hitting any kind of pitching this year:

http://tsf.waymoresports.thestar.com/thestar/baseball/player.cgi?0585

See above for my comments on Palmeiro...

jc
_Peter Warren - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#28342) #
Grand Funk Railroad

I by no means suggested we go out of way to overpay Rheal Cormier. I merely suggested that seeing how the Jays are in desperate need of a left handed reliever, and a solid one at that, that we should sign Cormier. He can fit in our budget can he not? I think his ERA was at least under 4
robertdudek - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#28343) #
Who led the team in ERA this year? (minimum 1 inning)

The Hawaiian Punch Out, of course.
_Rob - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#28344) #
That's right. Mighty Mouse only got one batter out.

Who led the team in ERA this year, minimum 0.1 IP? ;)

(I will never understand how 8.1 + 0.2 = 9 innings...)
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#28345) #
Who wouldn't love the Jays to move the NL East?

Me.

I know I'm in the minority, but I prefer AL baseball, and I enjoy facing the Yanks/Red Sox.
_R Billie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#28346) #
Palmeiro is a pretty big step down from Carlos. Carlos, even with all of his health problems this year, is one year removed from a 302/426/593 season. There's no reason not to expect another 275/400/550 year out of him. And based on his very strong finish to 2004, he's probably got a few 300/400/600 seasons left in the tank as well. He's also only 32.

32 with bad knees that likely limited him to horrid production in the first half of the year and he rebounded from only after a month of rest. He'll probably get over it and revert to a .950ish ops, .400 obp player. He'll also cost up to three times as much as Palmeiro depending on whether someone bids 8 figures for him.

There's no question that Carlos at his best is one of the best hitters in baseball. But how much more often will he be at his best? Carlos during his prime has hit in the .270 range a LOT more often than he hit in the .300 range.

Meanwhile, Palmeiro (at 40) has been in decline for several years. While his walk rates have been fairly stable, his BA has dropped precipitously in the last few years, which has in turn cut his OBP by around 10%. A new (and troubling) development this year was his drop in power. He slugged below .500 for the first time since 1997.

He's 40 years old. If he was improving instead of declining at this stage of his career he'd be like some kind of Bondsish freak. I fully conceeded his power drop MAY be age related but he's only a year removed from a 38 homer season and I'll take that gamble on a one year deal. Given that both his K rate and BB/K rate have improved this year I'm guessing his average is deceptively low. If he doesn't improve his power there's nothing wrong with a Catalanatto type who hits 25 homeruns.

All things considered, he wouldn't be a huge step down if the money saved were put to good use. Hey if Sexson is out there for $6 million then sure go get him. If not Palmeiro is a solid choice.
_steve - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#28347) #
we do need a long guy in the bullpen. all those 5 man pens have noone who pitches when the starter goes 3 innings
_Caino - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#28348) #
I agree with R Billy. I think Palmeiro is good for another year of atleast 25 dingers and some respectable stats to back that up.

"Batista, Speier, League, Frasor, Ligtenberg. Does that get the job done?"

What happened to Chulk?

I think Batista, Speier, League, Frasor, Chulk, Ligtenberg plus a lefty does get the job done. And well.

Batista is looking good so far, and the newly fired picthing coach maintains that's where he belongs.
League has been awsome. And the way J.P, was talking on Wed, it seems he'll eithr start in the majors, or be up quickly.
I have tremendous trust in Speir's ability aswell.
With Chulk, Fraser and a lefty rounding things out, plus lightenberg as window dressing; That seems pretty darn solid.
_Blue in SK - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#28349) #
Regarding $ to be spent on pitching, I think JP will take a flexible approach here as he has the ability to flip flop Batista. Thus, if he can sign a good RP for $X, he will move Miguel back to the rotation, and if he can sign a good SP for the same $X, he will leave El Artista in the bullpen. It opens up his options regarding FA pitching.

As for bringing back Zaun at $1M - I would ask why? He returned to his normal offensive numbers as time passed. Could you not get the same from Q? It's not like the Jays should be looking for or counting on catcher as a position that creates offense.

If you need a RH masher at DH/1B/C, what about trying to get Tom Wilson back in the fold as an option.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#28350) #
And what happens when one of the relievers gets hurt? You're down to 4 guys and a callup... the bullpen could get thin really fast.

Right, but your callups would be of higher caliber. Instead of having Chulk in the pen, you have Chulk in AAA in case you need him.

I don't see how we'd be any thinner than 2004:

Maurer
Peterson
Glynn
Kershner
Nakamura
Frederick
File
Douglass

That's a lot of innings being pitched by marginal guys, due to the "need" to have 7 or 8 guys in the pen and have all these 1 and 2 batter match-ups.

That doesn't even count guys like A.Lo and de los Santos who either got injured or flamed out.
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#28351) #
So if the Jays sign Palmeiro does that mean Woody stays?

Palmeiro will be bringing the woody with him, shurely...

there'll be a woody at every position.

I'm not sure about 3b...

He clearly sees the need for a veteran's firm resolve.

We're agreed, this year's lineup has been a little soft.

I just don't see how the Jays could get by with only 10 pitchers on the roster.

Well, why on earth doesn't someone try? What is the problem? Are we all under the thrall of Tony "I must have three LOOGYs so I can make five pitching changes every damn day" LaRussa? When did this happen?

Palmeiro is a pretty big step down from Carlos.

Agreed. He might still be the best fit to replace him. More expensive than Cat, probably. The Orioles are avoiding a 4.5 million option, so he's not going to get that much from anybody. And I'm sure he understands that at his age, he's signing one-year deals.

32 with bad knees that likely limited him to horrid production in the first half of the year and he rebounded from only after a month of rest.

The injury that took him out of the lineup was to his rib-cage. His knees have bothered him for years, but never enough to make him actually miss a game. This isn't Jason Giambi we're talking about. Delgado is an athlete, and he's in very good shape.

His knees would probably be a lot better if he hadn't been a catcher until the age of 24 - of course they'd be a lot worse if he had continued catching. Anyway, fortunately for him, he became a first baseman.

(I will never understand how 8.1 + 0.2 = 9 innings...)

Don't you just love typing 8.33333333333333333 in a spreadsheet? I know I do... :-)
_R Billie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#28352) #
Carlos wasn't hitting before his ribcage injury either. In the past whenever Carlos has not been producing it's usually been fixed by giving him some rest. If the Jays platoon Palmeiro and Cat with good righthanded hitters they can get pretty good production. Platoon arrangements are the only way I see them making up for not being able to plug Sheffield, Rodriguez, Posada, or Ramirez into the middle of the order.
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#28353) #
In the past whenever Carlos has not been producing it's usually been fixed by giving him some rest.

There are two parts of this sentence I don't understand:

1) since he became a regular, when was Delgado ever not producing? Even this year - he had a decent April, and a lousy May when he tried to play through his injury.

2) when was Delgado ever rested? In the last six years, he's been forced out of the lineup by injury three times. And those are, literally, the only games he has missed in the last six years.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#28354) #
Some random thoughts while I skimmed through the thread

No one seemed to mention one of the possible "big" draws for bringing in Palmeiro, he only needs 78 hits to reach 3000. With the rebuilding phase if full effect, it might give a little thrill to the casual fan to come to the ball park for a stretch of games to try and see it.

Speaking of wood, I hear Woody is going to be the playoff analyst with Sportsnet these playoffs. Is he any good? I know he aparently fell in love with T.O. and lives here, maybe if the Jays release him and he can't find work he'll call it a career and move into the booth.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#28355) #
And just before anyone forgets, remember how freakin' AWESOME the Cat was filling in for Tom this season. I mean...whoa, he was scary good. I won't cheer for him to get hurt again, but hopefuly he can retire here and do that smooth transition to the booth.
_Caino - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#28356) #
"No one seemed to mention one of the possible "big" draws for bringing in Palmeiro, he only needs 78 hits to reach 3000."

Very tru Jobu.
And at 551 career home runs he's just a good season away from passing Harmon Killebrew (573) and Reggie Jackson (563) on the all time list.

He hit 23 this year.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#28357) #
No one seemed to mention one of the possible "big" draws for bringing in Palmeiro, he only needs 78 hits to reach 3000. With the rebuilding phase if full effect, it might give a little thrill to the casual fan to come to the ball park for a stretch of games to try and see it.

That clinches it. Raffy will be a Devil Ray next year.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#28358) #
Wow, that's another reason. I didn't even think of dingers. Casual fans love dingers. Plus maybe he'll be our Wade-Boggs-Shamefull-Hall-Of-Fame-Ticket.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#28359) #
Damn Moffatt stealing my thunder while I take my sweet time to type. Well, there is one easy way to boost Jay attendence next year, and that's sign Doug Gilmour.
_Rob - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#28360) #
Well, there is one easy way to boost Jay attendence next year, and that's sign Doug Gilmour.

Why? In his first at bat, he'll take two pitches and then injure his knee.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#28361) #
Damn Moffatt stealing my thunder while I take my sweet time to type. Well, there is one easy way to boost Jay attendence next year, and that's sign Doug Gilmour.

Ooooh. That's a good one.

I'd love to see Tiger Williams charge the mound after a pitch that was just a little too inside.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#28362) #
Maybe with the hockey strike, the players will be desperate enough for work that we can fuse the sports togehter to make a supersport. It plays the same as baseball, but every player has to play the inning holding hands with his hockey equivalent, so you'd have Sparky and Tucker dirtbagging it up in left, Doc and Douggie skipping to the hill, Belfour squating behind Zaun, Berg and Berg riding the pine..... this stuff writes itself.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#28363) #
On Saturday my sister asked if there was any stadiums where both baseball and hockey was played. Like the ACC, but baseball instead of hockey.

If there were, it'd make a great location for your supersport.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#28364) #
Hmmm.... I never thought of the field possibilities. Maybe they can play on a standard baseball field, only its all ice. Or maybe there can be a hockey rink suspended from the celling of the ballpark where a game is played simultaniously, and if the ball hits it, it's foul. ExcelsiorBall-5000 is gonna be the next big thing!
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#28365) #
I hearby appoint Moffatt the new commissioner of ExcelsiorBall-5000. Your first order of business is to lockout the players and make them agree to a salary cap.......and think of a Blue Jay equivalent of Tiger Williams.
_Pete Warren - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#28366) #
LOL...you guys write some funny s**t

For some reason I don't see Raffy coming to T.O. But then again...

Scott Speizio is a guy that played for the A's during JP's tenure in Oakland. I know he's getting up there, but he can play 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and has good power from both sides of the plate and walks alot (plus good defence at 1st). Known as a solid guy in the clubhouse. He had a bad year for the Mariners and I don't know his contract situation. I think he'd be a good fit for the Jays on their bench to play 90-100 games or so. Maybe a surprise like Greg Myers in '03 who hit i believe 16 home runs in limited action and was a great character guy in a young clubhouse. I think Speizio can fit this role.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#28367) #
Yeah.... every young club house needs a resident old guy. Preferably really old. Like the opposite of "Rookie of the Year". The young guys can all raz and look up to the new guy. Great locker room fun. And steal Palmeiro's viagra from his locker and get him really pissed off.
_greenfrog - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#28368) #
If 2007 or 2008 is when the Jays can expect to become truly competitive, the team needs to plan accordingly. I don't mind JP doing some short-term patchwork (eg with a Palmeiro), but the longer-term goal is going to require some more blue-chip talent. Obviously it isn't easy to go out and trade for the best young players in the game, but I think finding a couple of these players has to be part of the picture. (Unfortunately the Jays weren't able to trade Batista, Delgado or Cat this season when their market value was high. Unloading a premium veteran (cf. Colon, Pedro, Urbina, Giles, Zambrano) seems to be a classic way of acquiring good prospects.)

I would rather see a 2005 team that loses 95 games, but develops their nucleus by adding a couple of premium young players, than I would a team that plays .500 with an average cast of retreads.
_Tassle - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#28369) #
And steal Palmeiro's viagra from his locker and get him really pissed off.

I wouldn't want an ass slap from a guy who needs his viagra in the locker room.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#28370) #
I wouldn't want an ass slap from a guy who needs his viagra in the locker room.

Ewwww.

You could have real fun by taking about 30 of those pills, grinding them up, and putting them in the Gatorade cooler. :)
_Caino - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#28371) #
"I wouldn't want an ass slap from a guy who needs his viagra in the locker room.

Ewwww.

You could have real fun by taking about 30 of those pills, grinding them up, and putting them in the Gatorade cooler. :)"

Ewwww.
_jsoh - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#28372) #
re: Speizio. Unless I'm misremembering things, the general consensus on USSMariner about Speizio is (with apologies to Mencken) that he's a ballplayer who'd be greatly improved by retirement.

Plus, he's signed for next year, IIRC. Somehow I dont see JP making that trade. Of course, the Mariners front office would probably claim that Spiezio and Bloomquist are untouchable :)
_MatO - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#28373) #
I was watching the Score's report from the Blue Jay press conference and they reported the coming year's budget will be $53M. Did anyone else hear this?
_Rob - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#28374) #
You could have real fun by taking about 30 of those pills, grinding them up, and putting them in the Gatorade cooler.

If you did that for the fans, they wouldn't be complaining that the uniforms aren't too grey and black anymore...
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#28375) #
one of the possible "big" draws for bringing in Palmeiro, he only needs 78 hits to reach 3000.

Nice idea in theory, but nothing in my experience leads me to believe that Toronto baseball fans (and potential fans) care about that sort of thing.
_My Names not Ry - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#28376) #
you used to have to worry only about cleats when a runner slid into second...... (david letterman)
_Rand - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#28377) #
Just to correct something said earlier, there is no hockey strike. The players have been locked out.
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#28378) #
-Bring back Speier, Zaun, and one of Gomez/Menechino.
-Sign Richie Sexson and Scott Williamson

Team is set! :)
_Paul D - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#28379) #
Couple of things I've been thinking about.

It looks like Sosa will be available next year. Now, I don't think JP should get him, but he might be able to get in there and facilitate a three way with the Mets or something. Maybe then we could get Wright. I know that sounds ludicrous, but this is the Mets. We'd obviously have to give up something of high quality... but I think a high quality masher is worth a high quality young pitcher. Are there any young pitchers that are untouchable? Would you trade Bush or League?

As for first next year...JP doesn't seem thrilled with the idea of going with young guys every where, so Dan Johnson might be out... but what about Scott Hatteberg? You get below average offence, above average defence, he's not very expensive, and adds some veteran presence while the Jays try to figure out what the long term solution is.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#28380) #
I hope Richie Sexson does come to the team. Man, that would be so sweet. Aside from the fun me and my immature friends can have with his name, the dude can MASH. Put him in the skydome and it's scary potential. Plus it keeps the joe average fans happy.
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#28381) #
Couple things:

1) Crasnick has a column up at ESPN about rookies. He gives no mention to Rios or Bush, but he has a little blurb up on Jason Frasor.

2) What do I do on a day off from work? Well, I calculate the ERA+ stats for Blue Jay pitchers, of course! These numbers aren't official, but I believe they are accurate.

Bush 135
Lilly 122
Halladay 118
Batista 104
Towers 97
Miller 82
Hentgen 72
_Rob - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#28382) #
Speaking of Bush, he's third on the list of "Best Games" in the American League this year, with a Game Score of 91. He trails only Johan Santana and Ted Lilly, both at 92.

Of course, Randy Johnson is at the top of MLB - 100 for his perfecto. Schmidt has a 97, which he recorded on the same day. Ah, the fun with statistics...
_Thomas M - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#28383) #
RE Sexson

I just don't see the Jays having to let Carlos leave 'cause they can't afford him and then sign Richie. Just doesn't make sense to me.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#28384) #
I think it has to due with the fact that Sexson makes 8mil to Carlos' 18mil, and is coming off an injury plauged season to keep his price tempered.
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#28385) #
Why not? Richie "only" made 8.7M this year. That's a far cry from what Delgado made. After he missed most the season with injury, maybe he could be had for ~7M. If so, I'm sure the Jays would be interested.

I'm not saying it would happen, but it's my dream scenario. I just can't get excited about the Jays acquiring BRad Wilkerson or Scott Hatteberg.
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#28386) #
Damn Jobu and his shorter, quicker posts!
_Donkit R.K. - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#28387) #
Getting Rusch, and Pena (or Raffy if that doesn't work out) as well as resigning Zaun would make me very happy. Maybe Raffy and Pena could come along and move through 1B/DH with The Cat. It's a start anyway...
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#28388) #
I don't know about Raffy...he only hit 23 homers this year; how many will he hit next year when he's even older? Not to mention that he hit lefties to the tune of a .556 OPS.

I guess if you could get him cheap and he hits 20 HR's with maybe 20 doubles, then it would be okay, but still...that's not a lot of power from what would presumably be your cleanup hitter.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#28389) #
Only 23? That would have tied him for 2nd best on the blue jays this year ;)
_Ron - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#28390) #
Just saw a report on the Score where the reporter closed off his report by saying expect the Jays payroll to be bumped up to 53 mil.

Sure more would have been nice but considering payroll was slashed last season it's nice to see a 3 mil increase this season.
_Jobu - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#28391) #
Would it have made that much difference if Rogers increased by 5 instead of 3. Or 10 instead of three? I dunno, maybe I'm just bitter about Delgado leaving. Certainly any kind of payroll raise for this club is a good one. Better than cuts right?
_Jobu - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 01:32 AM EDT (#28392) #
Hmmmm....slow night. Better think of something.

I say we start a pool as to how many free agents the Jays sign NOW until Spring Training. I'll go first and say....uh.....5
_6-4-3 - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#28393) #
6 hours later, I'll respond by taking . . .

well, a first baseman
a generic bat
a starter
a reliever

That's 4. Anything else will be by trade, IMO. There's just not many relievers avaliable, especially lefthanded ones. That number sounds really low, though, but it's pending the Oakland trade of the year.
_Jobu - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#28394) #
Alright, me and 6-4-3. Closest to final total wins...........GO
_Marc - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#28395) #
Sexson and Delgado will likely make similar salaries in 2005. If the Jays can't afford Delgado, they can't afford Sexson. Plus Sexson is likely in line for a longer term contract due to his age.
_Joe Katzman - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#28396) #
http://windsofchange.net
A depressing discussion, all patchwork and retreads rather than here's where the potential is for a winning team, and here's how we'll put above-average talent in place that we can plug that potential into.

Unless there's a Hudson-Zito-Mulder trio in your system, though, the answer on $53m is probably: "you can't get there from here". Any thoughts on who that trio might be for the Jays at some point? Or are we SOL?

We seem to have lots of pitching prospects in the minors (Banks, Rosario, McGowan, Vermilyea, Marcum, etc.), but even with quick progress the time lag between where they are and "major league pitcher you could take to the playoffs" is 4-6 years. That's 2008-2010, and if that's where we're really expecting serious reinforcements than it changes a lot of calculations unless we're using them in trades around 2007-2008. Bush may be that level of pitcher within 3 years, though, and so may Chacin. Or Bush could pull a Brandon Lyon, you never know.

A Halladay-Chacin-Bush-Lily playoff rotation to be feared is possible, but if that anyone breaks or doesn't pan out then our options before 2008 are limited. We need to expand our options by 1 pitcher at least.

If we're plugging Batista back into the rotation, that does it but we need a closer. If he remains in the bullpen (my preference) we probably do need another SP in the off-season.

"I think Batista, Speier, League, Frasor, Chulk, Ligtenberg plus a lefty does get the job done. And well."

Do the team a favour, JP. Invite Lightenberg to Spring Training, and if he doesn't look any better, eat his contract and give the roster spot and playing time to someone else.

Gotta say, the whole Moneyball "closers are overvalued" bit is belied by looking at this team's history. The numbers miss some key dependencies (incl. blowbacks into team hitting, as players press when no lead is safe), and I think in this case the numbers aren't telling the whole truth. League could be playoff-quality in 3 years, he has the closer mentality, and that's where I expect him to be - an impact closer, The Hawaiian Punch-Out. Would be nice to have him do the Rivera bit and be an impact set-up guy first, because of the confidence it brings him and the 1-2 punch and sense of solidity it brings to the team.

That leaves a lefty slot and a replacement for Lightenberg on this off-season's "to do" list, unless you move Batista in which case "closer" is a big priority and you can fill in the lefty and additional bullpen slot with kids.

So pitching governs the team's ability to challenge. What about the rest?

Overall, here's a scary question. How many players do the Jays have that are above the major league average at their position? Hudson's defense at 2B may elevate him there, even though he strikes out a lot. Wells has the potential to be in CF, though this season may not make it. Zaun might be slightly above average at C, actually, a good bat and very good defense.

After that? Yikes.

The system as a whole seems to be weak at 1B and 3B, at least in the sense that it's not likely to produce an above-average major league talent within the next 4-5 years. I'm not convinced that either Hill or Adams would be an above-average major-league 3B, but the 2 may be above average as a SS & 2B pair. I don't believe Hinske will turn this around. So 3B is on the long-term "to do" list, along with 1B.

Missing your corners is a bad place to be, strategically. But there we are.

Q could be an above average C. I see Rios as more of a LF who might become above-average if the hitting comes and he doesn't ground everything. Don't know about Gabe Gross at this point, and don't see lots of OF options on the farm. Sounds like we'll need to get a power-hitting RF with a good arm at some point, too.

The question is, when to go for this: 3B 1B, RF. As noted, the answer is heavily dependent on pitching, and when it's likely to be ready. If the answer is 2006, then maybe you sign a missing piece this of-season. But I don't think it's 2006, and wonder about 2007. These may be components you don't even start plugging in until the 2005 or even 2006 off season... or seek to obtain in trades along the way, and screw 2005.

Which, come to think of it, may explain the talk here revolving around Rafael Palmeiro. Sigh.
_Smack - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#28397) #
How much would it take to get Scott Williamson?

Now theres your '05 closer. Or atleast a very good bullpen arm.
Mike D - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#28398) #
Nobody's been discussing this, but Phil Nevin will be on the block. The Padres aren't happy with their defence (so many 1B's!), and Nevin's really unhappy with the deep left-centre dimensions at Petco Park.

Nevin's due $8.5 million in '05 and again in '06, although I believe he has a no-trade clause. If he'd consider it, though...we could have an excellent fit.
_Joe Katzman - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#28399) #
http://windsofchange.net
I'll add this about Palmeiro. I don't really see his quests energizing the fans much. Which means I'd rather play Crozier often, on the off chance that he blossoms into a 1B who will give the team 20-25 HR, good defense, and a patient approach at the plate. That's about what we expect from Palmeiro, but he has no future upside or value and Crozier just might. So play him and see.

If Crozier fails then Cat starts playing some first, Adams gets some DH time to keep him rested, and our IF back-up plays a bit more. Since the team won't contend anyway, big deal and we fix it in the 2005 off-season.

Right now, the Palmeiro option doesn't make much sense to me. What am I missing?
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#28400) #
Nevin's due $8.5 million in '05 and again in '06, although I believe he has a no-trade clause. If he'd consider it, though...we could have an excellent fit.

Pourquoi? Nevin's not as good a hitter as Delgado, older and almost as expensive.
Pistol - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#28401) #
I just can't get excited about the Jays acquiring BRad Wilkerson

Wilkerson hit .255/.375/.498 this year.

Sexson is historically between a .290 - .300 EqA, coming off a season ending shoulder injury that you don't have a good idea of it's long term impact (in terms of playing time and returning to full health). Wilkerson has a .290 EqA this year, is a little younger, completely healthy and isn't going to command a salary that an UFA like Sexson will.

I don't know that he'd be available, but I'd take him over Sexson given the choice between the two.

How much would it take to get Scott Williamson? Now theres your '05 closer. Or atleast a very good bullpen arm.

Williamson can't stay healthy and there's a good chance he's going to have surgery this offseason.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#28402) #
IIRC, Will Carroll mentioned there's a good chance he's going to retire this often season.
robertdudek - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#28403) #
Wilkerson would be a great addition to the Blue Jays. It all depends on what kind of budget the Washington Expos are going to be operating on.
_Ryan Lind - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#28404) #
Holy Crap. I had no idea Wilkerson had such a good season. I should have followed the Expos more.

I stand corrected.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#28405) #
Don't forget that Hiram Bithorn played as an extreme pitcher's park this year, and was an extreme hitter's park last year. Wilkerson's year is flat out impressive. Not to mention that he played left-field well.

Somehow I doubt that he will be pried loose easily.
_Mark - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#28406) #
Koskie at third, Cabrera at short, trade adams for a bullpen arm and pray the expos,diamondbacks or brewers wil take hinske for nothing. If not move him to first and platoon him with a righthanded masher. Also why donŤt the jays do what the twins are doing with all there great young arms, a year or two in the bullpen.
_R Billie - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#28407) #
Sounds like we'll need to get a power-hitting RF with a good arm at some point, too.

What exactly is wrong with Rios' arm in right field? It's a cannon and very accurate. I think the number of players in the majors with better arms can be counted on one hand. He isn't a power hitter right now but that's expected to develop over time and in that respect it makes no difference whether he plays left or right.

I will agree about the remaining corner spots though. I'm very concerned about the Jays long term and short term offence at these positions though they should be solid in left field next year where it seems they will finally platoon Cat and Johnson as they should have been doing all along.

Right now, the Palmeiro option doesn't make much sense to me. What am I missing?

That Eric Crozier is striking out in about half of his major league at bats and just isn't ready now if ever. Going from Rafael Palmeiro to below replacement level at 1B is a pretty big drop off and a good recipe for another last place finish in 2005. They need an established veteran to bridge the gap either at first base or in left field.
_Will Carroll - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#28408) #
Arnsberg as pitching coach?

[Thunk.]
_R Billie - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#28409) #
trade adams for a bullpen arm

From what we've seen of Adams, why do we want to trade him for a bullpen arm? Orlando Cabrera is going to cost a mess of money. At least $3 million. For an extra $2.7 million to spend on other things I would gladly live with the difference between Cabrera and Adams.
_Fozzy - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#28410) #
What about Scot Shields, I thought he was going to be a free agent this year? He'd made a fine addidition, and would probably jump at the chance to be a starter, especially with an excellent defence behind him.

Of course, as I say that, he gets lit up by Manny 'I love to showboat' Ramirez.
_Fozzy - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#28411) #
P.S. I still like Douglass as the long man out of the 'pen. His 'pen stats were quite good this year, IIRC.

So I guess my fantasy pitching lineup would be: starters - Halladay, Lilly, Basita, Shields, and Bush. Relievers - Douglass, Speier, Ligtenberg, Glynn, Frasor, and a lefty. I still like Miller and Chulk though, but they could both use some work in AAA this year, or be shopped around. As for Towers, I just don't know; I like him as a fifth starter, but if there are better options out there I would look for them; I guess having options in Batista and Shields for the 'pen would make things easier to deal with down the road.
_Blue in SK - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#28412) #
I might get shot for this suggestion, but...if we need a righty masher with pop how about ...Tony Batista. He had a Batista type year with the Expos, he hit 30 doubles and 32 HRs this year and drove in 110 RBIs.

Yeah, yeah ...I know those are not SABR valued stats and his BA and OBP sucked, but if a RH DH platoon partner is what you need, you could do worse. Additionally, he cut down his Ks this year to below 100.

Plus if Hinske continues his regression, Tony could sub or platoon with Hinske.

And he should come relatively cheap, according to ESPN his salary this year was $1.5M and he didn't do much to deserve a huge raise.
_6-4-3 - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#28413) #
P.S. I still like Douglass as the long man out of the 'pen. His 'pen stats were quite good this year, IIRC.

I remember being stunned when I looked up Douglass' Bullpen ERA. I forget the actual thread where it was discussed, but the September 15th Roundup said "In relief, however, he is 0-0 with a 2.91 ERA, having given up seven earned runs in 21 2/3 innings."

After that, he had a four inning appearance against Tampa, where he gave up 5 runs. That'd push his bullpen ERA to 4.20, but other than that, he was a good bullpen guy. I wouldn't mind if he came back in a long relief role.
_greenfrog - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#28414) #
Batista didn't have a bad year, and I admire the way he's managed to stick as a full-time MLB player. And Blue, it speaks volumes about Hinske's season that signing Batista almost makes sense. In fact, looking at Batista's season reminds me just how bad Hinske's was:

Batista
G 157 AB 606 R 76 H 146 2B 30 3B 2 HR 32 RBI 110 BB 26 K 78 SB 14 CS 6

Hinske:
G 155 AB 570 R 66 H 140 2B 23 3B 3 HR 15 RBI 69 BB 54 K 109 SB 12 CS 8

Quite similar really. The only real difference is that Batista had twice the home run power, and walked (and struck out) moderately less than Hinske. Oh, and has a much shorter contract.

Incidentally, I wonder whether Hinske is turning into Chris Woodward redux.
Joe - Wednesday, October 06 2004 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#28415) #
http://me.woot.net
Batista didn't walk "moderately" less than Hinske, he walked exactly half as often. This in the year that people were complaining about Hinske's walk rate.

I remain unconvinced that Batista will create more runs than Hinske next year.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 06 2004 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#28416) #
I'm with Joe. I'm not saying that Hinske will develop into a championship-quality player or that in 20-20 hindsight, his contract will be proven to have been a wise decision. Aaron Hill or John Hattig is more likely to be an improvement (should it become necessary) than Tony Batista.
_Ryan OHara - Wednesday, October 06 2004 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#28417) #
Why not make Cabrera a top target this off-season, then trade Hudson and move Adams to second?
_Fozzy - Thursday, October 07 2004 @ 01:08 AM EDT (#28418) #
Why not make Cabrera a top target this off-season, then trade Hudson and move Adams to second?

i. $$$

ii. you lose a gold glove second baseman who hasn't hit arbitration for a gold glove shortstop who's a free agent (plus I think you also give up two draft picks as well for Cabrera)

iii. frankly, i think hudson is a better player than Cabrera is, especially if it costs you a great player, you move someone to a potentially uncomfortable position (Adams) and in the process are losing enough money to gather a big bat or a solid starter

iv. the common fan loves hudson; no reason to add insult to injury. I could picture Griffin writing about "trading all the talent away and JP has lost his confidence and the team is shat, et al."

v. it sends a pretty weak message to the players and fans if the best talent (or what is perceived by the audience as the best) is always being moved (look at the resentment after Phelps, or even Mondesi got moved vs. actual performances). I think if anything, they'll be locking up Hudson for 3 more years, and working to establish a real core of players til '07.

It'd be a nice sign to get Cabrera, but under those circumstances, no matter how I dissect it, it's a loss.
_Fozzy - Thursday, October 07 2004 @ 01:19 AM EDT (#28419) #
P.S. I still hold out hope for Delgado coming, although I really can't fault the guy if he leaves; gotta do what's best for your family.

My second choice: Brad Wilkerson - 27, lefty, first base and left field, .255/.374/.498, played in 160 games, 39 doubles and 32 homers, and was 13/19 in stolen bases (though the strikeouts are a concern. Hopefully Washington is feeling generous come December; he only made $380,000 last year, according to Dugout Dollars. Him and Phelps would make a nice platoon, if Phelps could handle a glove. Wonder if Tom Wilson will be on the market?

I was also liking Livan Hernandez, til I saw he's going to be making $23 million over the next three years. Can you say "Yankees, bail us out?"
_Fozzy - Thursday, October 07 2004 @ 01:22 AM EDT (#28420) #
Is Wilkerson arbitration eligible? I thought he has three full years under his belt now. Enlighten me, please :)
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